Originally Posted by The Bogg
It is a very subjective thing and I wouldn't encourage anyone to buy a particular product based on someone else's recommendation.
Absolutely! It should be considered as a datapoint, not to be used as the sole reason. Over the past 5 yrs or longer, everything technical or special-purpose that I buy, AV gear, photo gear, pro photo printers, computer tech, monitors, even something like photo bags(!), I spend weeks & sometimes months researching - online reviews, test results for sure if available, personal friends who own that particular gear, demos at dealers, before making final buying choice. It takes me a long time to make technology buying decisions; it's anal but I don't like being disappointed. There is so much biased or purely subjective information in published reviews that one cannot take them as "gospel".
Before buying a high priced SSP, I would hope one would do their own due diligence, demos, comparisons. It will be hard to get A/B comparisons in the same room between SSP's but one can try to get some demo somewhere. I didn't buy a Trinnov unseen or heard - it was a tough decision to write a check for that amount. I had the one demo at a CEDIA, 2 long-term Trinnov users I know own personal experiences since one has used an MC Optimizer for yrs, and both were very early adopters of the Altitude 32 & even then I wasn't totally sold that it was worth it for me to jump in. It took reviews, many phone calls to these 2 guys (I've known one for over 5 yrs), a visit to the dealer who also sold Datasat and he didn't have Trinnov to listen to since his big room had the Datasat. He didn't have an Altitude to demo. I was about ready to fly to Chicago to demo the one friend's Trinnov setup but got lucky that there's an Altitude owner who happens to live in GA, couple hrs away. He had yrs of experience with SSPs, room correction systems, measurements & calibrations, with his own hi-end HT room and he also happened to have owned & setup both the Datasat RS20 and his current Altitude 16. He was gracious to give me a demo. I spent about 3 hrs at his home theater and much more important than the listening was his refreshingly honest & I think pretty objective appraisal of his experience with both. The good & bad, strengths & weaknesses. And he didn't buy his from that dealer so no skin in the game. Only after that did I feel comfortable spending that much, coming from CE products.
I can't compare what I bought to other competitive dedicated SSP's since never owned them. I wished I could have tried some of them but I didn't have the budget. Frankly it took me years to try a D&M product because I knew how Pioneer's MCACC EQ system sounded in my room and I was hesitant to switch to Audyssey. I had decades experience owning a lot of Pioneer gear since the late 70's - 4 generations of laserdisc players, 2 uni-players, 3 BD players, an Elite HD-RPTV, the last gen Kuro plasma, as well as 2 consumer level & 3 Elite AVR's. I knew their gear well
I understand G-Rex's long-term "data collecting" approach before considering making a big change.